- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2018

Awash with adjectives and outrage, much of the news media was in full cry Monday after the summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Trump’s critics celebrated with caustic commentary and melodramatic predictions. But such is the current media marketplace when political agenda, journalism, spectacle and the need for ratings and readership collide.

This phenomenon is particularly pronounced during the proverbial “presser” — when prominent figures wield a microphone and take live questions from the global press. Like in Helsinki. Some consider such events to be part of a greater process.

“A president is never measured by his pressers. He is measured by his concrete actions. And if you look at every significant action President Trump has taken in the last 18 months, from arming the Ukrainians to attacking Russian mercenaries in Syria, he has proven that he is more than able to rein in the former KGB officer Putin,” Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to Mr. Trump, tells Inside the Beltway.

We could be looking at a work in progress, perhaps.

“Each president since President George H.W. Bush has met with Russian leadership in the hope of a new beginning in the relationship with Russia. Today was no different. While meeting privately earlier today, I hope that President Trump was clear with Vladimir Putin — his history of electoral abuses, human rights offenses, aggression across Eastern Europe and support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria — are unacceptable. I look forward to continue to work with President Trump as we counter Russia’s influence around the world through tough sanctions and supporting pro-Western forces in Ukraine,” observes Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican.

Then again, there could be some missing components.

“Trump in public, like in a joint press conference, is much different than the Trump in these private negotiations,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh reminded his 14 million-member audience Monday.

HOW THE MEDIA SAW IT

Just a few scant headlines from an ocean of headlines which erupted following the Helsinki summit:

“The most stunning, shameful moment of Trump’s presidency” (CNN); “Trump defends Putin from claims of election interference” (CBS News); “Fact check: Trump promoted conspiracy theories. Here’s the truth” (NBC); “‘Extraordinary television’: Chris Wallace details ‘remarkable’ interview with Putin” (Fox News); “Piers Morgan: I’m happy U.S., Russia talking, not fighting” (MSNBC); “From Trump, words no president has uttered overseas” (The New York Times); “Trump’s appeasement summit with Putin” (The New Yorker); “Trump and Putin insist Russia did not meddle in U.S. election” (Times of London); “The Trump-Putin summit was over before it began” (Vanity Fair); “Putin to Trump: It’s time to talk of our relations” (Reuters); and “If you work for Trump, quit now” (Washington Post).

REALITY CHECK: ‘JOBS AMERICANS WON’T DO’

“Americans are doing jobs that ‘Americans won’t do’ in overwhelming numbers and in every line of work,” says the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a non-partisan, public interest organization, which based that judgment on recent immigration data from the Pew Research Center.

“The idea that any industry would collapse without unlimited access to illegal alien workers just isn’t supported by the facts. American workers and their legal immigrant counterparts comprise the overwhelming majority of workers,” the organization said, noting that these two demographics make up 78 percent of private household workers, 82 percent of agriculture workers, 87 percent of food manufacturing workers and 87 percent of construction workers.

MARYLAND ON THE BRINK

Governing Magazine — a nonpartisan politics and policy publication for state and local government leaders — made an interesting pronouncement Monday. While handicapping gubernatorial bouts in 2018, the news organization weighed in on one state which has a very long and historic Democratic history.

“In Maryland, Democrat Ben Jealous — the more liberal of the top two finishers in the primary — won the nomination to face Gov. Larry Hogan. That result, combined with Hogan’s strong approval ratings, has led us to move this race from lean Republican to likely Republican,” the publication noted.

“It’s going to be clear that Gov. Hogan is the only responsible choice in November. It’s simple math, Marylanders cannot afford Ben Jealous,” noted Scott Sloofman, communication director for Mr. Hogan’s campaign, in a statement.

Republicans have also made noteworthy gains, Governing Magazine said, in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Alabama.

Ah, but the Democrats have a few gains to savor as well. The publication speculates that the party could have the advantage in the governor’s derbies in Arizona, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

MAKING SCENTS

The American public may not believe it, but not everything stinks on Capitol Hill.

The Fragrance Creators Association arrives in the hallowed halls Tuesday for “What Does Love Smell Like? — a perfumery event” which draws attention to the effect of fragrance on well-being, relationships, communications and other things.

Hm. Maybe the whole planet could use a little calming aromatherapy at this point, but no matter.

Perfumers from P&G, Takasago, Bell, Arylessence and Robertet will create custom scents for the event, which is emphatically bipartisan. Guests include Democrats Reps. Sanford Bishop of Georgia and Carolyn Maloney of New York, plus Republican Reps. Karen Handel and Barry Loudermilk, both of Georgia. Sens. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican and Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat, are expected to attend.

POLL DU JOUR

87 percent of business economists expect the expansion in real gross domestic product to continue over the next year.

68 percent say they foresee sales growing over the next three months

65 percent say current global trade disputes have not affected hiring, investing or pricing in their own companies.

58 percent report rising sales within their own companies.

51 percent said wages rose within their companies between April and June.

41 percent say their companies expect to hire new employees in the next three months.

Source: A National Association for Business Economics “Business Conditions Survey” of 98 of its members, conducted June 14-27 and released Monday.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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